Volvo Cars of North America Inc., continuing its search for edgier advertising, will use such images as all-nighters and day-old pizza to pitch its new S40 sedan and V40 wagon.
The company plans to spend $25 million on launch advertising for the cars, which arrive in showrooms in September.
The cars are crucial to Volvo's bid to attract younger buyers who typically own a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or an Acura. The company will target prospects about 30 years old who 'have the same mind set as Volvo owners of today - self-assured, highly directed and intellectual,' said Bob Austin, director of marketing communications at Volvo.
Volvo originally planned to aim the S40 and V40 ads at all of Generation X, but realized that was too broad a category, he said.
Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG in New York started shooting three TV commercials in Manhattan last week. One commercial stars a young man who pulls an all-nighter at a high-tech startup. He awakens with his head on a pizza box on his desk. He goes to the parking lot and brushes his teeth with Perrier water before changing his shirt. Actor Donald Sutherland continues as the voice of Volvo in the spots.
The new ads will carry the tag, 'Somewhere between where you are and where you're going.'
Volvo's shift in ad themes started in 1997, when it decided to reposition itself with new, less-boxy vehicles and more fun advertising without straying from its bullet-proof safety brand image. In fall 1997, Volvo tried to attract sport-utility owners with tranquil outdoor commercials for the V70 all-wheel-drive Cross Country wagon. Last year, Volvo emphasized emotion and fashion to launch the C70 coupe and convertible.
With destination costs, the S40 will have a base price of $23,475; the V40 starts at $24,475.